Government, Politics and Regulation
When Almazbek Atambaev was president of Kyrgyzstan, journalists didn’t have a whale of a time. The country’s head often harassed media outlets by threatening them with lawsuits and financial audits. Fearing reprisals, many journalists routinely self-censored.
Things are much improved after Sooronbay Jeenbekov won the presidential elections in 2017. Pressures on independent media and journalists from government and politicians have lost intensity. Tax inspections are less frequent.
That media outlets in Kyrgyzstan take informal payments from politicians and state officials is not a secret anymore. The list includes prime ministers, mayors, MPs, current and former presidents. They sponsor content in their own media outlet, if they have one, or pay journalists from other news outfits to cover the topics they need to be covered. Some of them even fund websites that crank out bunkum about their enemies.
See Kyrgyzstan in Media Influence Matrix